At a surface level, the UAE has remained largely unaffected by the ‘Arab Spring’. However, in August it was reported that as many as 50 citizens had been arrested on suspicion of being Islamists intent on jeopardising state stability. At the end of 2012, their court case was continuing.
To generalise, the UAE appears to be predominantly a consumerist country with a Muslim veneer, though this is more the case with the richer emirates (i.e. Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah), and less so with the poorer ones. However, the veneer is deceptive as Islam is ingrained in the lives and attitudes of the nationals. The UAE remains conservative and acts to suppress anything that is perceived to challenge the status quo, including conversion of nationals from Islam or encouraging them to consider such a step.
There is a large expatriate and migrant worker population across the UAE, including many Christians. There are church complexes in all major cities, almost all of which are full to capacity.